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Bear Size Comparison: How Big Are Different Bear Species?

Polar bears are the largest bears, weighing up to 1,700 pounds, closely followed by the Kodiak bear that weighs up to 1,500 pounds. After Kodiak bears, we have Grizzly bears, weighing up to 800 pounds.

Do you know how big a bear is? 

Bears are one of the largest land animals in the world, and there are many different species of bear. 

From the tiny sun bear to the massive polar bear, bears come in all shapes and sizes. 

In this bear size comparison, we will compare the size of different bear species to humans, other animals, and each other.

Bear Size Comparison Overview

Bear SpeciesHeight (standing)Weight
Polar Bear11 feet700-1700 lbs.
Grizzly Bear8 feet800 lbs.
Black Bear7 feet150-650 lbs.
Kodiak Bear10 feet700-1500 lbs.
Panda Bear6 feet200-250 lbs.

Bears are the largest members of the bear family and can weigh anywhere from 150 to 2,000 pounds. 

The Kodiak bear, found in Alaska, is the largest brown bear in the world, with males averaging around 1,500 pounds. Grizzlies, which are found in North America, weigh an average of 500 pounds.

As for the largest bear overall, the Polar bear takes the crown. When standing, they can reach up to 11 feet, and weigh 1,700 pounds.

Bears vary in height depending on their species, but they are all quite large. Kodiak bears stand up to 10 feet tall at the shoulder, while grizzlies measure in at around 8 feet tall. 

Despite their size, bears are incredibly agile and can run up to 35 miles per hour.

Human vs. Bear Size Comparison

Bears are much larger than humans. The average human weight is 136 pounds (62 kg), while the average bear weight is closer to 500 pounds (226 kg), but can reach far beyond 1,000 pounds.

When it comes to human vs bear size comparison, bears are definitely much larger in size. 

The smallest bear is the sun bear, which weighs around 150 pounds and measures 4 feet long. Polar bears are the largest, weighing up to 1,700 pounds and measuring up to 11 feet long. 

As for human size comparison, the average adult male human is about 5’10” tall and weighs between 160-180 pounds. The average female human is about 5’4″ tall and weighs about 125-145 pounds. 

This means that even the smallest bear is still much larger than the average human, while the largest bear is about 3-10 times heavier.

man gives high five to bear in forest

Polar Bear Size Comparison

The polar bear is the largest bear on Earth. They weigh anywhere from 400 to 1,700 pounds and can be up to 11 feet long from nose to tail. They are taller than brown bears, standing at about 4 feet high at the shoulder.[1]

Polar bears are the largest land predators on earth. Standing 11 feet on their hind legs, and 4.3 feet on all four, they’re truly big.

Despite their large size, they are considered excellent swimmers and can stay submerged in water for up to two minutes.

The smallest bear species is the sun bear, which weighs in at around 70-130 pounds and is only about two feet tall. In other words, the size difference between the largest and smallest bear is huge.

polar bear growling

Polar Bear Size Compared to Other Bears

The size of a Polar bear is much different than that of other bear species.

Kodiak bears, the second-largest bear species, weigh a little less than polar bears, but not much. They’re also 10 feet long, just one foot short. 

Grizzlies, another large brown bear, weigh upward of 700-800 pounds, which is about half of the biggest polar bears. They’re about three feet shorter.

Polar Bear Size Compared to Human

The largest polar bears are about 10-13 times heavier than the average human. They’re also 4-5 feet taller than the average human.

Compared to humans, polar bears are massive. They’re both taller (when standing on their hind legs), and they’re much heavier.

The heaviest man in the world weighed 1,400 pounds (635 kg)[2], which is still 300 pounds short of the largest polar bears.

Polar Bear Size vs. Tiger

Polar bears are much bigger than Siberian tigers. While these tigers are the heaviest among tigers, they only weigh about 420 pounds and measure 3.5 feet tall. Polar bears weigh 400-1,000 pounds more and are about a foot taller on all four.

The two animals vary in height and weight, however, polar bears are bigger in every way.

The Siberian Tiger is the largest tiger subspecies and can weigh up to 700 pounds, while the largest polar bear weighs up to 1,700 pounds.

Related: Bear vs. Tiger

Grizzly Bear Size Comparison

Grizzly bears are the second-largest brown bears, weighing about 700 pounds and standing 8 feet tall on their hind legs. On all four, they’re about 3.5 feet tall.

When it comes to a grizzly bear size comparison, they are one of the largest bear species. They can weigh up to 700 pounds and are 8 feet long. 

Despite their large size, grizzlies are not the most aggressive bear species. They are, however, very territorial and will attack if they feel threatened. 

Grizzlies typically avoid human contact, but there have been cases of them attacking people who have come too close or posed a threat.[3]

Related: How Tall Is a Grizzly Bear?

grizzly bear standing on all four legs

Grizzly Bear Size Compared to Other Bears

Grizzly bears are larger than most other bear species, only bested by Kodiak bears and Polar bears. They can weigh up to 800 pounds and grow as long as 8 feet from snout to tail. 

Some individual grizzly bears have been seen weighing more than 1,000 pounds.

This makes them significantly larger than both black bears and regular brown bears, and also makes them stronger.

Grizzlies can easily be distinguished from black bears by the hump on their shoulders and the fact that their claws are significantly longer.

Grizzly Bear Size Compared to Human

There is a significant size difference between humans and grizzly bears. Grizzly bears are typically much larger than humans, with males reaching up to 800 pounds and heights of up to 8 feet. Human males typically weigh around 160-200 pounds and are about 6 feet tall.

man hugs a bear in forest

Black Bear Size vs. Other Bears

The black bear is on the smaller end of the spectrum in terms of size. Weighing between 150 and 600 pounds, they’re less than half the size of a Polar bear.

Adult black bears typically weigh between 150 and 600 pounds, significantly less than the bigger species. That said, black bears can still be dangerous, especially if they feel threatened.

In terms of height, black bears stand about 2-3 feet tall when standing on all four, while they can reach about 6 feet when standing on their hind legs.

Despite their small size, black bears can still do a lot of damage. They are known for being very strong climbers, and they have been known to break into cars and homes in search of food.

black bear close up

Black Bear Size Compared to Human

Black bears are not that much bigger than humans. On average, black bears weigh between 200 and 400 pounds, and they can range in length from 3 to 7 feet. Hence, the smaller black bears are about the size of a large person.

Some black bears may be smaller or larger than this average, depending on the subspecies and where they live.

Kodiak Bear Size vs. Bears

Kodiak bears, the second-largest bear species and largest brown bear, weigh up to 1,500 pounds and stand over 10 feet tall.

Kodiak bears are bigger than all other bears, except for polar bears. They can reach up to 1,500 pounds, but will typically weigh less than this. This is about 300-600 pounds heavier than big grizzly bears.

As this species is a subspecies to brown bears, it makes them the biggest brown bear in the world.

Despite their size, Kodiaks are not always the most powerful bear. That title goes to the polar bear. The polar bear is the world’s largest land predator and can weigh up to 1,700 pounds. It also has the longest claws of any bear, which helps it hunt seals on the ice.

Panda Bear Size vs. Bears

Panda bears are significantly smaller than other bear species. On average, pandas weigh between 200 and 250 pounds (70-150 kg), while black bears can weigh up to 600 pounds.

Kodiak bears, the largest bear species can weigh up to 1,500 pounds, 6 times more than a panda bear.

Panda bears are also much shorter than other bears[4]. They typically stand just 2 feet tall at the shoulder and measure no more than 4 feet long from nose to tail. 

By comparison, black bears are around 3 feet tall and 6 feet long, and Kodiak bears can be up to 10 feet long.

giant panda bear closeup

Panda Bear Size vs. Humans

Panda bears are one of the smallest bear species in the world. They typically weigh around 150-250 pounds and stand about two feet tall at the shoulder. In comparison, an average human male weighs around 136 pounds (62 kg) and stands around 5’4″ tall. 

This makes pandas just a bit heavier, but shorter as well.

Interestingly, despite their small size, pandas are still considered dangerous animals. They have been known to attack people who get too close, particularly if they feel threatened. 

So while you may be able to outmatch a panda bear in a physical fight, it’s best to always give them plenty of space and respect their territory.


Bears are some of the largest land animals in the world. They come in different shapes and sizes and weigh from 150 to 1,500 pounds. The Polar bear is the largest bear species and can weigh up to 1,700 pounds and stand over 11 feet tall. Grizzlies are much smaller, weighing in at around 400-700 pounds and standing about 8 feet tall. 

About Dennis Stapleton

Dennis Stapleton has a passion for animals, especially dogs, and their relatives. He’s intrigued by their social structure and loves to write and teach about the world's most popular pet animal.

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